Months ago I came across an Instagram account called jonboytattoo. Jonboy is a famous tattoo artist in NYC who does the smallest, thinnest, and most delicate and dainty tattoos that I completely fell in love with. He does tattoos on celebrities, locals, and tourists alike. Because I knew I would be going to New York at the end of May, I sent a message to his appointment booking email inquiring about how far in advance someone has to book an appointment with him to get in and what the cost minimum was. The response I received was that Jonboy wasn’t even taking appointment bookings at that time and the tattoo minimum was a whopping $300. I gently picked up the broken pieces of my shattered heart and moved on with my life.
When Constantin and I were Ubering to Washington Square Park during our stay in NYC last week, I saw tattoo shop after tattoo shop along the way to the park. A seed was planted in my head and grew exponentially the more I thought about it– I wanted, no… needed to get a tattoo in New York City. As I sat on the fountain in front of the Washington Square Arch, I typed “tattoo shop” into my Google Maps and pressed “search”. From there, the two of us walked to the closest tattoo shop we could find on my Google Maps and walked in so I could get a quote on the tattoo I was looking at getting. Who did I see sitting in the tattoo shop? Jonboy and his insta-famous pomeranian. WHAT!? THIS WAS THE TATTOO SHOP HE WORKED AT?! By absolute chance, I wandered into the tattoo shop that specializes in the delicate letting that that I was totally in love with. Luckily they took walk-ins but because we had leave soon for our FlyNYON helicopter ride, I couldn’t get it just yet. I received my quote and quickly agreed to return back later that night.
Around 9pm I walked back in with an example of what I wanted in hand and an artist ready to customize it. He took what I wanted and made it his own to play around with and create a better version of. He drew up four new lettering images of what I had originally shown him and gave them back to me to choose or to adjust more to my liking. I had chosen one and as he was going back to draw a final individual image of it, being the indecisive individual I am, I ran back to choose a different one. He ended up creating something in between the two lettering images that I chose and it was utter perfection. The tattoo area was sanitized and prepped before I went back into the tattooing area. The whole experience was as clean, professional, and personal as I could have possibly imagined. Finally, the stencil was placed on the inside of my lower arm and the buzz of the tattoo needle penetrated my ears. Because the needle was so fine due to the thin and delicate nature of these specific tattoos, it didn’t hurt at all. He didn’t just draw it on either like many of the other tattoos I’ve gotten– where the comparison of “scraping a sharp pencil against a sunburn” becomes relevant when describing the feelings of tattoos; it was almost as thought he was poking each part of the tiny tattoo individually with the needle of the tattoo gun. It took way longer than I thought it would and my artist traced over it several times to ensure that every part of the tattoo was inked in. My first visible tattoo turned out beautifully and it would have been impossible to be more happy with the result than I already was. The experience and the perfect tattoo inked on the inside of my arm made the $200 tattoo + tip downright and entirely worth it.
It wasn’t done by Jonboy, but it was done by another incredible artist named Nick (you can check out his Instagram at: wickynicky) who does the same flawless type of art and lettering that I was looking for from this studio. West 4 Tattoo in West Village, Manhattan was the absolute best. It’s pricey, but you can’t expect much else from New York. And you definitely get what you pay for. If you’ve been wanting a tattoo of this style, I wouldn’t recommend going anywhere else but here!